You would think that with my love for sushi and for Korean food, I would have posted earlier about gimbap (aka as kimbap). Unfortunately, although I love gimbap it’s a bit time consuming to make, especially early in the morning!
But…with some preparation the evening before, the rice cooker timed and my alarm set a bit earlier than usual, I managed to make a few rolls and pack some for my lunch (the rest will be eaten for dinner).
(Korean) gimbap / kimbap (literally translation seaweed rice) is very similar to (Japanese) maki sushi, but at the same time very different. Instead of sushi vinegar, the rice gets flavoured with a mixture of salt and sesame oil. The finished roll also gets brushed with some sesame oil before being cut in smaller pieces.
Fillings include vegetables (such as carrot, spinach, pickled radish, burdock, cucumber) and egg, beef, crabsticks, fishcake, tuna or even spam! Chopped Kimchi can also be used as a filling. My local sushi shop is actually owned by Koreans and the owner told me that his wife makes a very good gimbap with spicy pan fried kimchi. I have been trying to convince him to start selling Korean food besides sushi but he isn’t convinced yet about the commercial merits of it…Looks like I will just have to continue to make my own :-).
Another big difference with maki sushi is that there are no raw ingredients used in gimbap, or at least, I have never encountered any, but if someone has, please let me know in the comments…
I followed the recipe from Maangchi, you can find it here, but made a few minor changes. Her recipe is a classic version with beef, carrot, spinach, omelet and pickled radish.
My fillings, all prepared the evening before:
Egg, cucumber (I didn’t have any spinach so used cucumber instead), pickled radish, pickled burdock (I have never encountered burdock before, except in gimbap, so wouldn’t really know what else you can use it for), carrots and beef. The marinated beef (with garlic, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil) adds a delicious flavour to the gimbap.
This is the seaweed I used: gimbap gim. don’t know whether it is a good brand or not, but I could decipher that it is specifically for gimbap (plus the picture is a bit of a give away) and also the package (translation) says it’s already flavoured with perilla and sesame oil.
And the finished gimbap rolls :-).
Of course I forgot to make any photo’s while filling and rolling the gimbap, but it’s worth mentioning that I actually didn’t follow Maangchi’s instruction. Well, I did initially, with the roll furthest to the right, but as you can see the filling in that roll doesn’t end up nicely in the middle. Maangchi says to keep about 2 inches of the seaweed free of rice, and when rolling, one edge of rice needs to meet the other edge. Maybe it’s because I have too much filling, or too much rice, but the only way to get my filling nicely centered is by spreading the rice to almost the top of the sheet.
Looking back I actually think that I should have spread the rice a bit thinner as there is quite of lot of it, but anyway, the result looks pretty and it tasted great!